WORLD CUP SHOCK: Japan trumped Bokke

Those who know me will tell you I am a bit of a conspiracy theorist.

Actually, they will probably use the words irritatingly paranoid. I like to see things that are not there (yet, at least).

To be honest I’ve been more right than wrong in the past.

So here’s one for you to digest.

When South Africa lost to Japan in the World Cup opener last year, I rallied the paranoia troops inside me.

Here you have a country that will host the next Rugby World Cup up against a team filled with big names.

Now South Africans back then have been huge in Japan — think Andries Bekker, Jaque Fourie, Schalk Burger, etc.

They were the marquee players of the J-League, or whatever they call it.

It’s the perfect marketing stunt. If there was one match the Japanese folk would watch, it was this one — their guys against the behemoths from the south.

What happened back then is history now, entrenched in both countries’ set of fans’ hearts forever.

It was also the perfect way to set the platform for the Sunwolves’ inclusion in Super Rugby.

But that part bombed and the Sunwolves were swak in the tournament.

Somehow, though, Japan were pit against world champs New Zealand at the next big global rugby spectacle — the Olympic Games.

And “voila”, the rugby gods again smiled on Japan as they did the unthinkable by beating Sonny Bill Williams and company.

You see, nowadays business is business... and everything is business.

The World Cup in Japan needs big numbers in 2019 and the big boys will go all out to prove that not taking the tournament to a Tier One nation was not such a bad thing to do.

Are these results a coincidence?

PS: pretty soon, I am sure we are going to see the rise of the US team. And here we are fighting among each other over pettiness.

As for South Africa and their poor showing at the Olympic Games, I have my own take on that.

And it has to do with XV-a-side players being included in a squad that Sevens specialists have worked on for a number of years already.

If you look at the semifinal defeat to Great Britain, you’ll see that it was a forward skip pass by Juan de Jongh that ultimately cost them a place in the final.

I am of the opinion that De Jongh shouldn’t have been there. Cheslin Kolbe perhaps, because he has been part of the Sevens set-up in the past, but De Jongh cost the guys and I just wonder if the guys who are actually Sevens specialists would have done a better job.